Debut Author Bash- Interview with Ellen Oh
If you don’t already know this about me–I LOVE hosting debut authors and today is a great day to introduce the reading world to Ellen Oh! Thanks to Ellen for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing her and introducing me to a new series to be excited about. I’m really into stories with girls as the strong heroine who fights with a sword and protects a man–gasp–but PROPHECY is more than this…
Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles #1)
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
Warrior (The Dragon King Chronicles #2)
But her fight rages on.
Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.
But it wasn’t enough.
Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…
Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?
Interview with Ellen Oh
1. I love how your interest in Korean culture are the background for your writing, but how or why did you decide to incorporate a fantasy element?
First of all I’m a huge fantasy fan. I grew up reading Ursula LeGuin and Piers Anthony and of course Tolkien. But I also read just about anything I could grab my hands on that had fantastical elements, including fairy tales and mythology. To me they all kind of became interwoven together. Mythology and fantasy. So when I decided to write a book on ancient Korea I immediately knew I wanted it to incorporate myths and legends of Korea but in a fantasy setting. That way, anything could and would happen. And it was such a blast to write!
2. What is your process for getting your words and ideas down on paper? Do you outline? Do you just write?
The first thing I do is outline. I can’t even get started without a complete and detailed outline. But I do think that how you write is very personal to your process. For me, I tend to get an idea that as I start writing it down, turns into a full novel outline. I need to be able to have a very solid plan before I write. Now that isn’t to say that things don’t change. I’ve had quite big things change from my initial outline. But so far, I tend to stay fairly close to whatever that original outline idea was about.
3. Do you have an interesting agent, submission, or publishing story?
Well, I thought I would give some perspective to the submission process. For every one story we hear of someone who wrote their Nano book over a month and then had a two-day miracle sale for a million dollars, there are hundreds of smaller sales that took years to reach. When my agent sent Prophecy on submission, I don’t think either of us expected to sell it in two weeks. But as fast as that seems, you have to realize that Prophecy actually took years to sell. My first agent went on submission with it in 2008. After a year and a half of trying to come to agreement on revisions, we parted ways and five months later I had my current awesome agent, Joe Monti, work with me for five more months to get it ready for submission. So the fast sale came only after years of trying. Furthermore, it was not my first book! I began writing in 2000 and trunked two books prior to selling Prophecy. I do hope that puts it into perspective for anyone who begins querying and is depressed with the rejections. Just remember, while a few lucky people might have a very quick turnaround, the rest of us have logged many many years in the trenches trying to achieve our dreams.
4. The cover for Warrior is so cool! How much say do you have in what your covers look like?
The art design team at HarperCollins is simply amazing! I find them incredibly talented and I’m in awe of their brilliant work. For Warrior, the art team really wanted to portray the prophecy world as accurately as possible so they asked me for input on what animal should be represented (I chose the kumiho, a fox demon) and the type of jeweled dagger that should be on the cover. I’ve been incredibly grateful to have that kind of input into my cover. But the whole beautiful part had nothing to do with me and everything to do with how talented they are!
5. What advice would you give to a teen who dreams of becoming a writer?
Read a lot. Never stop reading. Do things that help foster your creativity whether it be music, art, filmmaking, etc. Creativity breeds your imagination. And your imagination is where your stories will come from. Don’t be afraid to write your stories. But most importantly, don’t let the haters put you down. There will always be someone out there who will want you to fail. They are threatened by the idea of your success. Do not let their words, actions, expression stop you from following your heart’s desires. Sometimes, the hater is that little devilish voice inside your own head. Don’t listen to it. Don’t take the negativity to heart. Believe in yourself even when it feels like no one else does. It is the hardest thing to do, but you can do it.